When Can Babies Sleep with a Blanket?

You know that urge to want to wrap up your little baby in a blanket, wanting to add to their comfort or for fear that they are cold, especially in the winter time for sleep?  Before you add a blanket to their sleep space, keep reading to learn why it is so important to know when babies can sleep with a blanket safely.  Following safe sleep guidelines, such as the ones presented by the American Academy of Pediatrics , is imperative to the well being of your baby. They set these guidelines, so that we as parents can keep our little one’s safe.

When can babies sleep with a blanket?

Following guidelines, it is recommended that a baby does not sleep with a blanket until they are at least 18 months of age.  This is to avoid suffocation and overheating.  Wondering about stuffed animals as well?  There should be no stuffed animal in their safe sleep space until 12 months of age.

What are the alternatives to blankets?

As a sleep expert, I highly recommend using a sleep sack in place of a blanket for when your baby is sleeping.  These offer the added comfort and warmth that you are looking for, but do not pose a threat to your little one, as long as they are fitted properly.  Always make sure that your baby is wearing the correct size and that they sleep sack cannot go over their neck.  The great news about sleep sacks, is that they come in different togs, or levels of thickness and they are made in sizes all they way into the toddler years! Choosing the right tog is important, to avoid your baby getting too cold or too overheated. The higher the TOG, the heavier the sleep sack is.  So if your room is cool and comfortable at the recommended temperature of 18 – 22 degrees Celsius (68-72 F), using a tog between 1.0 and 1.5 is recommended.

Are weighted sleep sacks safe to use?

I do not recommend weighted sleep sacks, and do not find that they have any impact on the sleep of the babies that I work with.  The American Academy of Pediatrics also does not recommend them, stating “weighted swaddles, weighted clothing or weighted objects on or near the baby are not safe and not recommended.”

Won’t the crib feel lonely and empty to my baby?

I remember the first time that I put my first born in a crib, and I thought to myself, “she is so little and alone in there.” But, I soon found that she was absolutely fine and she was safe.  She slept comfortably and I knew that there was nothing in the crib that posed a risk to her safety and that gave me piece of mind.

I know how overwhelming being the parent of a baby can be (I’ve had two!), and having questions such as when can babies sleep with a blanket are common and absolutely necessary.  I hope that this gave a you a bit of insight! If your little one is struggling with sleep, make sure that you are following a nap and bedtime routine, are following age-appropriate awake windows, that the room is dark and cool, and that you are placing your baby down awake in the crib. If you need more support with your baby’s sleep, read my post here or sign up for a Free Discovery Call with me, to discuss how my support may be just what your family is looking for.

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